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A Swedish wildlife safari combining chances to learn about and see some of Sweden's most iconic mammals with unique accommodation in traditional grass-roofed huts. This is an accessible experience on land and water suitable for adults and families (recommended min. 8 years or 15 if adding wolf tour), an ideal way to discover the magic of the Swedish forest and its wildlife in a "back to basics" bushcraft-style setting.
This wildlife adventure is a genuine Scandinavian experience located deep in the forest. You will go in search of the King of the Forest, the mighty moose, and Sweden's most industrious woodland inhabitant, the beaver. Depending on dates chosen, an additional day can be added to include the Wolf Howling experience. An experienced wolf expert from local wildlife research station will speak about wolf research and conservation in the area, and then you will head to spend the night camping in tent in the forest in the middle of the wolf territory, where, with luck, there are good chances to hear wild wolves howling.
Your experienced guides will take you on an unforgettable journey through the dense forests of Bergslagen, a region known for its many lakes, evergreen woods and rich flora and fauna.
While the animals are an essential feature, there's much more to enjoy! The charcoaler camp which is your base for the Moose and Beaver Safari features cosy grass-roofed eco-huts that are very much part of the experience, providing a wonderful atmosphere that will beguile both adults and families alike. Dinners prepared over open fire, chopping your own firewood, taking your water from the well, and sleeping on a sheepskin mattress will make the "modern" world feel a million miles away.
As evening approaches, it is time to head out in search of moose by a combination of vehicle and on foot. Bergslagen is the area of Sweden where you are most likely to encounter wild moose in their natural habitat. Here the moose population far outnumbers the human population! Sightings are guaranteed and you have good chances to see a number of moose at close range. Your guide will share their knowledge of moose tracking acquired during their time in the field, as you search for hoof prints, fresh droppings and bite marks. You will also be shown some of the traditional ways of communicating with moose. After dinner outdoors you will return to the camp.
Whether or not you choose to add the optional Wolf Howling Tour, the area in which the moose safari takes place is also home to one of Sweden's shyest and most misunderstood predators, the wolf. During your search for moose you may also come across signs such as scat and prints left by these elusive and mysterious animals during their passage through the deep woods.
The Moose Safari typically takes around 5 hours, starting betweeen 16.00 and 18.00 depending on the time of year. Moose can be seen anytime during the season May. May is breeding season and typically offers the highest numbers of moose, while June and July have long hours of daylight and good evening visibility. August and September gives the chance to see Moose bulls with antlers as the mating season approaches.
In this area, you can clearly see where the beavers have shaped the landscape with their tree-felling. Using rubber boat with electric engine, which increases chances to get close to the animals at sunset, you take to the water in search of beaver before returning to the camp after dark. Includes dinner on shore during the tour.
The Beaver Safari typically takes around 5-6 hours, starting betweeen 16.00 and 18.00 depending on the time of year. Beaver can be seen anytime during the season May and animals are seen on the great majority of tours.
Between the Moose and Beaver Safari activities during your stay, there's plenty to do in and around the charcoaler village:
- Canoes are available to explore the lake - this is often an ideal activity for your arrival day but the canoes are also available at any time.
- There are good opportunities for self-guided walking in the forest around the camp - whether you are birdwatching, hunting for mushrooms or just taking a stroll!
- The camp has a beautiful floating sauna - a wonderful way to end a day in the forest, rounded off with a dip into the lake to cool off!
Adding Wolf Howling Tour
If wolf tours are offered during your chosen dates, there is the option to extend your stay to add the Wolf Howling Tour, a very special experience beginning with lecture from local wolf expert followed by spending a night in tent in the middle of the wolf territory with hopefully the chance to hear the wild wolves howling - a spine-tingling experience that touches something very primal in all of us. You also have good chances to see tracks and signs of wolf in the area. Outdoor dinner in the forest while you spend the evening listening for wolf howling. Sleeping bag is provided. Though it is not intended that this experience will give the opportunity to see wolves, sightings do occasionally occur.
Between June and September is the best time to hear wolf howling. The Wolf Howling Tour experience begins at 13.00 ending late morning after breakfast the following day. You will overnight in the wolf territory in tent (sleeping bag and pillow provided). Depending on the situation with the wolves and what you have experienced the previous evening, you may rise early for additional excursion in the wolf territory before having breakfast at local guest house before departure.
Moose and Beaver safaris typically begin between 16.00-18.00 depending on the time of year. Order of activities may be subject to change.
Arrive at reception at 14.00* (if arriving independently). If arriving by public transport to Skinnskatteberg, you will be met and transferred to the camp for start 14.00. Meet with your local hosts for short introduction to the camp facilities (including where to fetch water, how to start a fire, etc) at 14.30 and check-in to your charcoaler hut. Go down to the lake, take a canoe and head out for your first exploration of the forest world. Canoes are stable and suitable for up to a family of four. A waterproof map showing some of the highlights is provided. The lake is small but ideal for 1-2 hours' of exploration by canoe.
Canoes are also available for use at anytime during your stay.
Basic provisions are provided for you to cook your own evening meal over the open fire and relax into your first night's stay in the forest. All cooking equipment is provided. If you require additional fresh produce during your stay, there is a small supermarket just 3km from the camp. Collect your own drinking water from the well, chop your own firewood, practise your fire-making skills and wash up the dishes in the stream! The surrounding woods are wonderful for hiking, fishing (please bring own fishing equipment) or simply relaxing and enjoying the sounds of nature around you. Overnight accommodation in simple grass-roofed forest huts.
*It is possible to arrive later than 14.00 by arrangement if necessary, but please note that in this case there may be no-one at the camp to welcome you on arrival and provide important introductory information.
Provisions are provided for self-service breakfast (sleep in as long as you wish!), followed by a day of self-guided adventures in the surrounding forest at your leisure. When your body tells you it's lunchtime, prepare lunch over open fire with the provisions provided. In the evening it is time for a Beaver Safari on the lake, offering very good chances to encounter wild beavers. Tour duration is around 5-6 hours using a rubber boat with electric motor, which allows you to more easily approach the beavers around sunset. Outdoor dinner is included. Overnight in charcoaler hut.
NB: The beaver safari takes place approx. 18km from the charcoaler camp. Guests with own car are requested to self-drive to/from the start point (approx. 20 mins, map provided). Guests travelling by public transport will have free transfer - pick-up from the camp is 30 mins before tour start.
Daytime arrangements as for Day 2. In the evening you will head out for your guided moose safari in the company of experienced local guide. Moose have been seen on every tour since 2003. Tour duration is approx. 5 hours, using combination of vehicle transfer and on foot. You will return to the camp after sunset later at night. The tour includes outdoor dinner in the forest prepared for you. Overnight in charcoaler hut.
Day 4 (if not adding Wolf Howling Tour):
Self-service breakfast, please check out by latest 12.00 for departure.
Day 4 (if adding Wolf Howling Tour):
Self-service breakfast. Morning for self-guided activities.
Please check-out by 12.00, when you will be met for transfer to a local guesthouse for information presentation (NB: please note that lunch is not included this day and guests are recommended to have lunch before transfer - provisions packages are available for purchase at the camp). Your guide will meet you at 13.00 for introductory talk with from one of Sweden's leading wolf researchers from the Scandinavian Wolf Project. Later in the afternoon you will head out into the wolf territory to make camp (location depending on current location of the wolves, everyone assists with setting up camp). Outdoor dinner over open fire before spending the evening and into the night watching and listening for wolves. Accommodation in 2-person tents (solo travellers have single occupancy tent) with comfortable sleeping bags, inflatable sleeping mat and pillow.
Day 5 (if adding Wolf Howling Tour):
Depending on events during the previous night, on some tours you may rise early to for an additional excursion into the wolf territory. In general, you will have a shorter hike this morning, looking for fresh tracks and other signs of wildlife in the surrounding meadows and fields. Later you will pack up camp and transfer to a nearby guesthouse for breakfast/brunch and a shower and a chance to reflect on the night's adventure in the wolf territory. The experience ends around 12.00.
- Not Included
- Standard itinerary: Weekly start Monday end Thursday between 7th April and last start 17th September 2018, start time 14.00.
- Adding Wolf Howling Tour: Wolf tour runs start Thursday end Friday and can be combined with standard itinerary Monday-Thursday. Wolf tours will run 12-13 July, 26-27 July, 9-10 August, 16-17 August, 23-24 August, 6-7 September, 13-14 September 2018.
If travelling in May or in September, you should be prepared for cooler temperatures.
Prices are in British Pounds and Euros. If you wish, you are also welcome to make your payment in Swedish Kronor (SEK) - please contact us for details.
|Standard Itinerary/adult (Moose and Beaver)||GBP 567||EUR 640|
|Standard Itinerary/child under 16 (Moose and Beaver)||GBP 284||EUR 320|
|Single occupancy/adult||GBP 72||EUR 81|
|Adding Wolf Howling/person||GBP 262||EUR 296|
Single occupancy applies for Moose and Beaver Safari. Huts can accommodate max. 2 adults + 1 small child using additional bed. Families of 2 adults + 1 child may wish to choose single occupancy for 1 adult to receive 2 huts for additional space. If adding Wolf Howling, single tent occupancy is included for solo travellers at no extra charge.
Recommended min. age for Moose and Beaver 8 years and for Wolf Howling Tour 15 years. Younger children may be possible by arrangement.
- Standard Itinerary: Three nights' accommodation in traditional charcoaler huts. Each hut sleeps 2 persons or max. 2 adults + 1 small child with extra bed (3 adults cannot be accommodated in one hut). Alternatively, families of 2 adults + 1 child may wish to add single supplement for 1 adult to be able to use 2 huts for additional space. Sleeping bags with liner are provided.
- Addiing Wolf Howling Tour: One night's accommodation in 2-person tent (solo travellers have single occupancy at no additional charge) during night in wolf territory. Haglöfs sleeping bag (3-season) including small pillow and fresh cotton liner and sleeping mat (thickness 50mm, self-inflatable) are provided. Everyone assists with setting up camp.
Charcoaler hut accommodation. Photos: Claudia Deglau (top left), Per Groth (top right), Mikaela Larm (bottom)
Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.
- Standard Itinerary: 3 x self-service* breakfast, 2 x self-service* lunch, 1 x self-service* dinner, 2 evening dinners included during guided tours. (*provisions are provided for self-preparation)
- Adding Wolf Howling Tour:
- Outdoor dinner, breakfast at guesthouse following morning. Please note that lunch on the start day is not included - provisions can be purchased at the charcoaler camp for self-preparation if required.
Equipment and Activities:
- Standard Itinerary: Guided Moose and Beaver safaris. Use of canoes for self-guided canoeing on the lake. Buoyancy aids are provided for Beaver Safari and canoeing. There is a small charge (typically 50 SEK, about £5/person) payable locally if you wish to use the floating sauna at the camp. You will need to cut firewood to heat the sauna yourself.
- Adding Wolf Howling Tour: Guided wolf experience, camping equipment provided for overnight.
Experienced and knowledgeable local guides for Moose and Beaver safaris (+ Wolf activity if adding Wolf Howling Tour).
- Standard Itinerary: Transfer to/from Skinskatteberg for guests travelling by public transport in connection with start/end times for the tour, minibus transfer during parts of the Moose tour.
- Adding Wolf Howling Tour: As per Standard Itinerary plus transfer from charoaler village to start point for Wolf Howling Tour.
- Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Good to Know > Getting There" for general travel information.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Getting There
- Combine This With
- Eco Info
Good general health. Participants should be able to walk on rough terrain through forest. Minimum recommmended age 8 years. Younger children may be possible by arrangement.
During long hours of daylight in June and July, tours may finish very late (after midnight) as wildlife can best be seen after sunset. Amount of walking required during moose safari varies depending on current wildlife situation but is typically up to one hour on surfaced tracks and rough terrain, including a number of stops.
Wolf Howling Tour has minimum age 15 (younger children, e.g. 13-14, may be possible by arrangement). Depending on the wildlife situation in the area at the time, you may be awake until late at night and/or getting up early in the morning. Walking difficulty is medium, walking time during the tour typically 1-3 hours on surfaced tracks and on uneven terrain, including in darkness at night. Walks include many stops along the way.
What makes this "Easy-Medium"?
The simple, "bushcraft-style" nature of the accommodation and camp facilities will add to the level of challenge compared to staying in a cabin, etc. The activities themselves have an easy level of challenge except for Wolf Howling Tour, which is moderate.
NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "Dates and Prices > Included".
A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.
NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.
Preparing for your trip:
For further reading, we also have a number of general information articles to get you ready for your trip, covering a wide variety of topics from what to do on a city break before/after your tour, advice on packing, eyewear for winter and considerations for female travellers.
Detailed information on travel options to this experience will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.
Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.
Fly to Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) or Stockholm Västerås (VST) airports for travel by train/bus to Skinnskatteberg (2.5-3 hours).
Ferry Dover-Dunkirk or Newcastle-Amsterdam for onward connections to Skinnskatteberg.
Combine This With
This experience makes a good combination with the following:
- Hike and Bike in the Stockholm Archipelago (4 days, start/end Stockholm)
- Island Hopping and Hiking in the Stockholm Archipelago (6 days, start/end Stockholm)
- Stockholm Archipelago Self-guided Kayak Explorer (3 or more days, 40 mins from Stockholm)
Maximum 8 participants per guide. For tours with two guides there may be up to 14 participants.
This provider has received a prestigious Swedish Ecotourism award for its commitment to high standards to cultural and environmental sensitivity.
"Fantastic experience. Enjoyed every moment. Met some fantastic people. This trip was better than I expected. Had a wonderful time." Belinda, September 2016
"[Our highlights were] the sauna and the looks on the children's faces when they realised we were going to stay in these "epic" huts." Samantha
"Adventure of a lifetime!" Heather